CREEPY CLASSICS presents...
Every weekend we're watching movies together...whether you're in Pennsylvania USA, or Sydney Australia. It's a throwback! Back to the days when you had the anticipation for waiting till the weekend to see the classic horror or science fiction film that was listed in the TV Guide. The plan is to watch a movie at 7:30PM on Saturday night in your own time zone. Or, if you can't Saturday night...anytime during the weekend. Then, we'll all get together and e-mail our thoughts on the film...a few paragraphs...or simply a sentence if you'd like. They after-viewing reviews appear on our Creepy Classics/Monster Bash News Page. See the latest thoughts posted by viewers ther now.
Concept submitted by Mike Adams of Cartaret, New Jeresey.
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Above: The original movie poster for THE SPIDER, also known as EARTH VS. THE SPIDER.
A RECENTLT VIEWED CREEPY CLASSICS MOVIE NIGHT FEATURE:"EARTH VS. THE SPIDER" (1958) A classic 1950s teenagers-meet-the-giant-monster flick. A young girl's father is missing. She and her boyfriend search for him and come across his truck near a cave. Inside the cave, it's giant cobwebs and human skeletons! They eventually find her dad's mummified corpse drained of bodily fluids. The spider is one nasty monster the size of a small house. Of course, the authorities don't believe those crazy teens. Eventually it's captured and they hold it in the high school gym (of course!). A practicing rock and roll bands jamming vibrations reanimate it. Great Bert I. Gordon effects in this really fun flick. Suggested by Mike Adams, Carteret, NJ.
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This one easily falls into the catagory or low budget, yet totally entertaining. Bert I. Gordon producing, directing and overseeing the big-bug special effects with aid from his wife Flora. A slice of Americana were rock 'n' roll music revives a stunned monster! Bginning to end, the movie itself rocks. In fact, before the title credit comes up we have the Spider killing a man in a truck, with gory effects for it's time, as blood splatters accross the windshield and screen! Another movie triumph aimed at the teen market in the 1950s. -Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA
Above: The 8mm film box for THE SPIDER (EARTH VS. THE SPIDER).
Hey Ron, Watched Earth vs the Spider last night. It was a fun Bert I. Gordon giant creature movie. Not quite on the same scale as Universal"s Tarantula but still a good movie to watch. Special effects were good for a lower budget 1950's sci-fi film. You throw in a understanding teacher, an unbelieving sheriff, a few teenagers and a giant spider and you have a great time at the theater. I also had the 8mm home movie as a kid with the box having a picture of a spider with a skull head. Thanks for these ideas of movies to watch each week. It takes me back to the old days of every Friday night watching Sammy Terry's Nightmare Theater on WTTV channel 4 in Indy and seeing the classic and not so classic monster movies. Great memories. Thanks
-Dave Myers, Bryant In
In order for a movie to be labeled fun it must meet a certain criterea for me:
There aren't too many titles I can come up with that possess these wonderful attributes. In fact there's only one and that's Bert I Gordon's "Earth vs the Spider!" Now I'm sure Bert wasn't really going for a thinking person's movie when he decided to make this little gem. You certainly can't accuse him of being a Val Lewton wannabe here. I doubt that there were long tiresome meetings where writers labored endlessly to come up with mind boggling ideas.
But, what one can say is that he took all the elements of the sci fi drive in era and blended them all together in perfect harmony and created a loveable harmless cinematic concoction that goes down real easy and leaves you feeling pretty satisfied. "Earth vs the Spider" begins with an ominous web! Then we are shown the opening credits as they, one by one, shrink into the center of it! All this is done to another skull pounding score from Albert Glasser! If ever there was a man who could write a score for my life story ....... it would be this man. His music is as subtle as an avalanche.
The opening scene wastes no time in grabbing our attention. There's a pickup truck, screeching brakes and blood! From there on we are treated to all kinds of likeable teens (and adults posing as teens), janitors, scientists, policemen, theatre owners and utility workers, who all work together to protect their community from a super imposed giant spider. I think most of us can agree that the highlight of the movie is when our unconscious titular arachnid, whose body is being held in the high school auditorium, is awakened by the conductor driven rock band. The scene is so ridiculous that one can only laugh and wish for it to go on just a few minutes longer. Troy Patterson, the actor who plays Joe, the band's ( teenage) conductor was 35 when this movie was made......and he looked it! Sorry, there's no way he pulls it off! No way!
In moments the spider crashes through the wall, and in what is probably the best POV cringe shot ever, descends on Hugo, the high school janitor, played by Hank Patterson, aka Fred Ziffel of Green Acres! You see, it was Hugo who allowed the band to practice in the auditorium in the first place, so in a sense this may be cosmic justice for what is about to happen. The spider escapes the school and takes a walk through town ....and chaos ensues! Two cars have a fender bender! A woman gets her dress stuck in door of her car! The ice plant is almost attacked! The sheriff ( who Ron Adams pointed out looks like Gary Busey's dad) runs the wrong way into a dead end and our egghead hero Ed Kemmer must back up in his sedan to rescue him! I was on the edge of my seat at this point! Then Kemmer takes full control of the situation and starts yelling, from the safety of the police station, GET OFF THE STREET!!! GET OFF THE STREET!!!! Attaboy Ed! Good advice!
Kemmer also starred with Sally Fraser, who played his wife in this, in another 50's classic, "Giant from the Unknown" , a well known favorite of Bob Pellegrino. At this point our very enthusiastic ( I am being sincere here) cast unites to take down the spider. There's some more explosions, a giant arc of electricity, a shameless plug for a few of Bert's other movies, and an appearance by Famous Monsters of Filmland #1!
From beginning to end "Earth vs the Spider" is a loveable reminder of the golden age of drive in cinema that so many of us would love to see return. It's harmless and good natured and doesn't really try to be anything other than what it was created for, a fun time. Hope you all enjoyed it.
Above: Left, the athletic Universal TARANTULA and right, the well-fed Bert I. Gordon monster!
A cool old sci/fi classic from the humble 50s, but that spider didnt have anything on JohnAgar's 'Tarantula.
- Jay Maggio, Arizona
Here are my thoughts on "Earth vs. The Spider", which was this past Saturday's sync-up feature for Monster Bashers. I had planned on watching it Saturday night, but it ended up being my Saturday morning feature, as I relaxed with freshly brewed coffee, and basked in the fun of this terrific Bert I. Gordon film.
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